Weekly Buy & Try
Learn about fun ingredients with me 🌞
Happy Saturday! In this week’s Buy & Try, I have a few goodies planned for the week ahead that I can’t wait to experiment with.
Also, it wasn’t lost on me that I didn’t feature the Aji Amarillo from last week’s Buy & Try, but fear not…I’ll be sending out a newsletter feature All About Aji in the next week, so you can learn about this amazing Peruvian chili paste.
Anyway, without further ado, this week’s Buy & Try features fresh turmeric, ground black lime, and brown beech mushrooms!
If you’re like me, you have plenty of turmeric powder tucked away in your pantry, but this week, I finally decided to give fresh turmeric a try. I bought a big bundle of little turmeric roots and I’m so excited to compare the difference in flavors from powdered to fresh.
How to use fresh turmeric:
Fresh turmeric is quite easy to cook with and can be treated the same as ginger root or any other root aromatic. Simply peel and then grate or chop it in a food processor.
Turmeric is known for its vibrant golden color and its peppery, somewhat bitter taste, so I’ll be excited to grate these beautiful roots into just about everything.
Curry: A common use for turmeric–both fresh and powdered–is in Indian and Southeast Asian curries.
Tea: Simply slice the root and simmer it in hot water for 5 minutes before straining it into cups. A touch of honey or maple syrup and a lemon round would also not be a bad idea!
Sauces or dressings: You can mince the turmeric and blend it into a vinaigrette or try your hand at this turmeric chicken skillet from The Kitchn!
Ground Black Lime
Okay, so I didn’t buy it this week because I carry Ground Black Lime in my shop but it’s an ingredient I have not spent enough time experimenting with. It smells incredible and is famous for its tart, savory, and sour flavor profile. I’ve used it in soups and stews, but can’t want to try some more black lime forward recipes.
What is it? Black lime, also called dried lime, is a lime that has been completely dehydrated in the sun. They are used in many Middle Eastern dishes, particularly in Persian dishes. It can be used whole, sliced, or ground. It has different names, depending on the region, including noomi basra (Iraq); limoo amani (Iran); and loomi (Oman).
The limes are typically boiled in salted water first and then sun-dried until they are completely hard and completely dehydrated. The result is a tangy, sour, somewhat musky flavor. It’s an indescribable flavor that deserves a category of its own and it’s a wonderful ingredient to play around with!
How to use black lime:
It’s savory and it’s sour which adds layers of complexity to just about anything. I’ve been adding a few shakes to soups and stews and even a little bit to my rice because of the unique flavor it lends.
Stews: You could try your hand at a Persian stew with black lime. Use ground black lime in place of the whole black limes to taste.
Marinades: Use it in marinades for meat or seafood or sprinkle it on grilled vegetables.
Tea: Try it in tea, according to Najmieh Batmanglij in a 2019 interview for the LA Times. The Iranian-American chef and cookbook author also notes that it’s a delicious ingredient for shrubs.
Brown Beech Mushrooms
I can’t do another Buy & Try without featuring yet another mushroom variety. I’ve seen beech mushrooms sold in small clusters at the grocery store, but I’ve never seen them with such long stems before!
These little guys grow on beech trees in little clusters. They’re so easy to prepare and cook and I simply love them. All you do is cut off the base, about an inch up from the bottom. Discard the base and then separate the mushrooms. From there, simply sauté in butter and add a little lemon juice and parsley and you have a perfect side dish. Or try out a few of my other favorite ways to enjoy these beauties.
Stew: I love these mushrooms in soups and stews. They hold their shape and texture well and add a great earthy flavor to the meal. My favorite recipes are Stewed Beans and Mushrooms and this Pearl Couscous in Saffron Broth with beech mushrooms.
Pasta: Beech mushrooms are perfect for this Wild Mushroom Pasta.
Pickled: I absolutely love pickled shiitake and plan to try pickled beech mushrooms soon!
If you want to see how I use these ingredients over the next few days, be sure to follow me on Instagram but Sunday’s newsletter will have some of the Buy & Try recipes included, so stock up in the ingredients in the meantime!